Word on the street is that pets are the new kids, plants are the new pets, and candles are the new plants.
We know, it’s a little confusing, but if you’re a candle fanatic (like most of the Good Good Good team), we want you to know that we see you.
You’re the kind of person who practices good candle etiquette (always trim the wick and let the candle burn for long periods of time so it doesn’t tunnel — bonus points if you use an electric lighter), and you may be known to pop a candle container in the freezer so you can clean it out and reuse it.
Maybe you have an allegiance to a certain candle brand, or maybe you love to shop around to find just the right scent for each room in your home. Either way, if you’re anything like us, you want to make thoughtful decisions and shop sustainably in your pursuit of the perfect candle(s).
We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite eco-friendly, sustainable candles for this very purpose. Some of them were personally reviewed by members of our team, and the others were researched and vetted by other candle lovers across the Internet.
First, some facts about candles and sustainability.
By the way, some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you!
Are candles bad for the environment?
As much as a candle might smell like it’s good for you, a lot of times, factory-made grocery store or department store candles can be made with harmful products, such as paraffin.
Paraffin wax creates toxic benzene and toluene chemicals as it burns, and breathing them in can be harmful to your health, as well as the environment. Paraffin is also a by-product of petroleum refinement, therefore contributing to global reliance and burning of fossil fuels.
Many of these candles also contain artificial dyes and fragrances, which can also release harmful particles and small amounts of carbon dioxide into your home, and therefore, the environment.
Another polluter from candles are the containers they come in. Most times, when a candle finishes its life cycle, folks will chuck the whole container in the trash, along with the small well of leftover wax and metal pieces.
What makes a candle eco-friendly?
So, what kind of candles are good for the environment?
We recommend sourcing candles made with natural and organic waxes, like soy wax, beeswax, coconut wax, and rapeseed wax — rather than mass-manufactured candles which are often made with paraffin wax. Wicks are also important, so look for cotton, hemp, or wooden wicks.
As far as candle containers go, keep your eyes out for containers you know you could reuse or recycle after cleaning them out.
Our favorite eco-friendly and sustainable candles on the market
Where to buy: Made Trade
What’s good: From a BIPOC women-owned company, this candle is made with eco-friendly ingredients. Each candle is phthalate, paraben, and sulfate-free, as well as free from animal testing.
Details: Hand-poured in California, candles are made with naturally fragrant essential oils, a coconut and soy wax blend, and unbleached cotton wicks. Vessels are a high-quality recycled glass that can be reused or repurposed.
- Packaging: This candle came in a simple white cardboard box with a minimalist label.
- Scent: I received a Citrus candle, with citrus and verbena elements. I really enjoyed the fresh vibes it added to my home, and it was perfect for a spot in the bathroom or kitchen.
- Burn time: 40 hours
- Why it’s special: I love that this candle is from a BIPOC women-owned brand with an emphasis on sustainable luxury.
Other Notes: La’ F.E.M. candles are made in small batches by a BIPOC women-owned company, but they’re also sold through Made Trade, which is a Climate Neutral Certified e-commerce platform dedicated to ethically-elevated goods. It’s exciting to see this candle line among their collection of sustainable products!
→ Shop the La’ F.E.M. Citrus candle online.
The Refillable Plant-Based Candle from Grow Fragrance
Where to buy: Grow Fragrance
What’s good: According to Grow, they were the first to create a 100% plant-based candle — which ensures your candle is better for the environment and smells better than traditional petro-chemical candles.
Details: Your first candle order from Grow will come with a gorgeous white vessel and a separate candle “insert” in a recyclable aluminum container. The vessel will then be infinitely reusable as you continue to use their refillable candle inserts — eliminating waste and saving you money.
Each candle is toxin-free and they have full ingredient transparency on their site. (You can read through a list of everything inside your candle.) They also thoughtfully source the wick and vessel.
These candles offer a complex scent, and are toxin-free and safe for your home.
Price: $34 for the vessel and insert — and then refills are just $20
- Packaging: There was no plastic to be found in my shipment. Grow uses paper-based tape on a cardboard box — and instead of using bubble wrap, they wrapped each candle in a recyclable corrugated paper packaging for padding. My candles arrived safely and sustainably.
- Scent: So far I’ve tested the Lavender and Bamboo scents and love them. I’m already looking forward to ordering their limited edition Sea Salt Neroli insert refill soon.
- Burn time: 40-45 hours
- Why it’s special: I love burning candles, but I struggle with the leftover container at the end.
This candle finally solves that problem for me. I can continue to reuse the candle’s vessel forever — and the only “waste” is the recycled and recyclable aluminum insert that slides into the vessel.
Aluminum is among the most infinitely recyclable materials — and recycling aluminum saves roughly 90% of the energy used to create virgin aluminum.
Plus, the vessel has a small hole in the bottom — which means that if I ever decide to retire it, it can perfectly transition into a small planter with a drainage hole.
Other Notes: Grow Fragrance is a member of 1% for the Planet (just like Good Good Good!) and is a certified B Corporation. Their products are manufactured in the United States and are all Leaping Bunny certified. They pay their employees a living wage — and only partner with manufacturers that do the same.
→ Shop Grow candles online at Grow’s website.
P.F. Candle Co.
Where to buy: P.F. Candle Co., Urban Outfitters,
What’s good: All P.F. products are developed, produced, tested, and packed in Los Angeles, CA (we love to see a low-carbon supply chain!). P.F. uses sustainable and eco-friendly ingredients to provide a safe burn for all of their candle shoppers.
Details: P.F. candles are made with 100% domestically-grown soy wax, vegan, cruelty-free, and phthalate-free. The candle I reviewed, Teakwood & Tobacco, is within the “woody” fragrance family.
- Packaging: My candle came mindfully packaged in plastic-free corrugated bubble wrap and a simple cardboard box. As I unwrapped the candle, I was met with an apothecary-like amber jar, complete with a brass lid, and kraft label. I knew this vessel would fit right in with my place!
- Scent: I received the Teakwood & Tobacco Soy Candle, with subtle woody elements. I’m a big fan of anything that smells like I’m bundling up in a remote log cabin. This scent isn’t overwhelming (some leather-teak candles can be) and I absolutely love how you can also catch a subtle whiff of orange!
- Burn time: 40-50 hours
- Why it’s special: From its mindful packaging to the company’s sustainable supply chain, to the scent itself, this candle keeps sustainability at the forefront while giving us the coziest sensory experience.
Other Notes: P.F. Candle Co is also Climate Neutral Certified! It is so reassuring to know that when you use their candles, you are being a responsible consumer.
→ Shop for candles online at P.F. Candle Co.
Wellness Candles From Atmosphere Three-Sixty
Where to buy: Atmosphere Three-Sixty
What’s good: Atmosphere Three-Sixty is another BIPOC woman-owned brand that was created to be a healing sanctuary. Their line of candles is an extension of their mission to “help women heal through intentional living and mindfulness.”
Details: Hand-poured in small batches in a glass vessel, this candle is made with soy wax, a wooden wick. The Nourish candle, in particular, is designed with the intention of cultivating a nurturing and grounding space and includes a reiki-attuned clear quartz point, designed to help you connect to yourself and amplify divine intention.
- Packaging: This candle is thoughtfully wrapped in tissue paper and placed in a small cardboard box.
- Scent: I tried the Nourish candle, which includes notes of rose, lily of the valley, and sandalwood. This woodsy and floral scent combines perfectly to create a grounding fragrance.
- Burn time: Not listed on the candle or website.
- Why it’s special: This candle came with a lovely affirmation card that accompanies the relaxing scent and healing crystal.
Other Notes: This is definitely my new favorite candle. The scent is delightful, I love hearing the crackle of the wooden wick, and the strength of the fragrance permeates my entire apartment. I love to light it when I sit down at my desk to work.
→ Shop wellness candles online with Atmosphere Three-Sixty.
More recommended environmentally-friendly candle brands
Ranger Station: Whiskey Glass Vessels
Where to buy: Ranger Station, Amazon
What’s good: Ranger Station candles are hand-poured in Nashville, Tennessee into high-quality whiskey glasses. Buy a few of these and now you have all of your sustainable glassware covered (after you’ve burned through all 30 hours.) Each candle comes with a perfectly paired cocktail recipe to enjoy once the candle has burned through.
Details: Made with a premium soy wax blend and natural essential and fragrance oils. Each standard 8-ounce whiskey glass candle burns for at least 30 hours.
United By Blue: Keepsake Vessels
Where to buy: United By Blue
What’s good: United By Blue’s cozy candle collection comes in beautiful ceramic keepsake vessels that can be easily repurposed for household use.
Details: Made with 100% soy wax. Vessels can be used for household use after wax burns away, as all glazes are lead-free and food and microwave-safe.
Candles come in five scents: Wild Bramble, Mountain Peak, Tioga Woods, Log Cabin, and Surf, in both 14 and 18-ounce options. 14-ounce candles have a burn time of 65-80 hours, while 18-ounce candles burn for 75-90 hours.
Paddywax National Park Candles: Giving Back
Where to buy: Paddywax, Amazon, Urban Outfitters
What’s good: This collection of Paddywax candles was designed to represent America’s national parks. The reusable textured vessels are inspired by the landscapes of these national parks, and each candle comes with a visitor’s guide to the place they represent.
Best of all, Paddywax gifts a minimum donation of $30,000 to the National Park Foundation — making these a great gift for anyone who loves national parks.
Details: Paddywax national park candles are made with a clean-burning soy wax blend with no phthalates or formaldehydes. Paddywax uses vegan fragrance oils and cotton wicks and are designed with a second life in mind.
National park fragrances include Yosemite, Glacier, Yellowstone, Acadia, Great Smoky, Grand Canyon, and Olympic. They are all 11 ounces and burn for about 65-75 hours.
Paddywax Eco Candles: Soy Wax
Where to buy: Paddywax, Amazon, Urban Outfitters
What’s good: This Paddywax collection candle was made with eco-friendliness in mind. Poured in upcycled glass vessels, the company encourages shoppers to repurpose them further by using them again after burning the candle.
Details: Paddywax Eco Candles are made with a clean-burning soy wax blend with no phthalates or formaldehydes. Paddywax uses vegan fragrance oils and cotton wicks and are designed with a second life in mind.
Eco scents include scents like Tobacco and Vanilla, Basil and Cucumber, or Mandarin and Lavender. They are all 8 ounces and burn for up to 56 hours.
Wax Buffalo: Small-Batch
Where to buy: Wax Buffalo
What’s good: Wax Buffalo candles are poured in reusable vessels, and local shoppers can return their glass containers and lids to the brick-and-mortar shop for discounts on their purchases. They also have a candle lab where candle-lovers can create their own dream candles.
Details: Hand-poured in small batches in Lincoln, Nebraska, Wax Buffalo candles are made with 100% domestically sourced soy wax and a premium blend of plant-based and phthalate-free, ethically-sourced fragrance oils. Classic candles come in 9 and 16-ounce containers.
Eco Candle Co: Earth Friendly
Where to buy: Eco Candle Co., Amazon
What’s good: These candles are packaged in recycled glass jars with paper lids and are made with midwest-grown soybeans for 100% pure soy wax.
Details: Hand-poured in Wisconsin, these soy candles use phthalate-free fragrances and essential oil blends, as well as natural paper, cotton, or hemp wicks. With a variety of scents from Blueberry Patch to Herb Garden, candles range from 6 to 26 ounces.
Where to buy: Uma, The Detox Market
What’s good: Uma is a beauty and wellness brand made with precious botanicals grown in India and built around the 5000-year-old wisdom of Ayurveda. All ingredients (and all products from Uma) are sustainably farmed, organically grown, vegan, and cruelty-free atop the company’s 100-acre meadow.
Details: Drawing inspiration from Ayurveda, Uma’s candles are intended to impact the overall environment and wellbeing of their customers through aromatherapy. Made with coconut wax and organic essential oils, candles are packaged in an 11-ounce glass vessel and have a burn time of 75 hours.
Good & Well Supply Co: Recyclable
Where to buy: Good & Well Supply Co., Uncommon Goods, Luminary Emporium
What’s good: Good & Well Supply Co is dedicated to “good smells done well.” The company is deeply dedicated to ethical craftsmanship and donates 2% of its annual revenue to nonprofits that protect and conserve national parks and public lands, such as the National Park Foundation, Wilderness Society, Black Outside, and Earthjustice.
This year, Good & Well partnered with One Tree Planted to plant a tree for every product sold. Its National Park candle collection is 100% recyclable in aluminum and paper packaging. Other collections — like their vintage canteen candles — come in vessels that can be practically reused.
Details: All Good & Well candles are made with materials from the United States, including soy wax, balsa wicks, and American-made oils.
Hyggelight: Growing Candles
Where to buy: Hyggelight, EarthHero
What’s good: The founders behind Hyggelight are “hygge-inspired and plant-obsessed,” leading them to optimize a candle that creates an atmosphere of coziness, and not at the expense of the environment.
The Growing Candle leaves users with a repurposed pot of wildflowers with zero waste to discard. Customers light and enjoy their candles, and when they’re done, they plant the seed paper label that came with the vessel and watch wildflowers bloom.
And don’t worry if you accidentally discarded your first seed paper label; Hyggelight will send you a new one for free!
Details: Created with 100% soy wax, natural fragrances, and a cotton wick, each candle is in a different handmade terracotta vessel, all between 8 and 15 ounces. Customers can select from a list of scents, including classics like lavender, sandalwood and vanilla, lemongrass, and more.
Calyan Wax Co: Supporting Survivors
Where to buy: Calyan Wax Co., Amazon
What’s good: Calyan Wax Co’s mission is to support human trafficking survivors through the sale of natural candles. Five percent of Calyan’s revenue is donated to trusted and vetted nonprofits that uplift human trafficking survivors. Calyan has donated over $226,000 to date.
Details: Calyan’s fresh-scented candles are made with all-natural vegan soy wax that is phthalate-free and infused with essential oils. These candles include a cotton wick.
Candle vessels range from glass jars and tumblers to metal tins.
Mia Harlow Organics: Sculptural
Where to buy: Mia Harlow Organics, Five Nine
What’s good: Every time you make an order with Mia Harlow Organics, one tree is planted with One Tree Planted! All of the packaging used is recyclable, biodegradable, or reusable. In addition, any defective candles are melted back down and made into another candle or sold in a discounted sample sale.
Details: Mia Harlow candles are gorgeous, colorful sculptural candles and dining candles that will add dimension and personality to your space.
All candles are made with a unique blend of vegetable biodegradable wax, and are clean, vegan, and cruelty-free.
Arbor Made: Zero Waste
Where to buy: Arbor Made
What’s good: These candles come in a reusable candle jar. And we don’t just mean it’s a glass vessel you can repurpose; these containers have a special feature that allows you to pop out your nearly nonexistent candle remnants in one clean motion and replace it with a new wax refill from Arbor Made. Reusable jars have a lifetime guarantee, and Arbor Made hopes to be “the last candle you ever buy.”
Details: Arbor Made candle refills are made with non-toxic soy wax and are vegan and cruelty-free. At this time, Arbor Made offers four candle refill options: unscented, Spiced Timber, Mellow Breeze, and Petals Abloom.
Each scent also corresponds with a reputable charity that Arbor Made supports with each order, such as: One Tree Planted, Ocean Conservancy, Pollinator.org, and Clean Air Task Force.
The 8-ounce candle refills burn for 30-35 hours.
Folklore Candle Co: Storytelling Candles
Where to buy: Luminary Emporium
What’s good: Folklore candles are made with eco-friendly ingredients in a Canadian studio. Their unique scents and approach to aroma aim to evoke rich storytelling for the consumer, with scents named Hedge Witch or Old Gods.
Details: Small-batched and hand-poured with hand-blended bespoke fragrances, these candles are made with paraffin-free soy wax, and a lead-free cotton wick. All candles are vegan, paraben-free, and phthalate-free. Available in both 2-ounce and 10-ounce options.
Heirloomed: Keepsake Vessel
Where to buy: Heirloomed, Five Nine
What’s good: Heirloomed candles are made with eco-friendly ingredients, but their main selling feature is that each vessel can be turned into a keepsake gift. All of Heirloomed’s Keepsake Candles have a special memory sticker for the candle gifter or recipient to write a special memory associated with the scent.
Details: Hand-poured by the Heirloomed team in their Atlanta, Georgia studio, each soy candle is contained in a glass vessel and is wrapped in high-quality kraft wrap. Thoughtfully blended scents include titles like Old Soul, Harvest, and Deep Ocean. Each candle is 8 ounces and burns for 35 hours.
Vellabox: Subscription Box
Where to buy: Vellabox
What’s good: Vellabox is a candle subscription company that sends you eco-friendly candles with your preferences in mind. Subscribers begin by taking a quiz to share their scent preferences and areas in their homes where they like to burn candles.
Details: Vellabox offers three subscription plans that vary in size and burn time: 4 ounces for 25 hours of burn time, 8 ounces for 50 hours of burn time, or 16 ounces for 80 hours of burn time. Scents also vary based on personal preferences.
Vellabox also has individual candles for sale in scents like Sangria, Cucumber Detox, or Soft Vanilla.
Evermore London: Rapeseed Wax
Where to buy: Evermore London
What’s good: Evermore London specializes in luxury vegan rapeseed wax candles hand-poured into hand-blown recycled glasses by skilled artisans in the UK.
Details: Evermore candles are made with natural fragrances and rapeseed wax that is phthalate-free. Scents include titles like Tides, Moon, Grove, or Venus. All candles are 300 grams (about 10.5 ounces) and burn for up to 60 hours.
Price: £55 (or about $67)
Other ways to collect candles sustainably
Make your own candle.
If you’re a DIY champ, consider making your own candles! There are plenty of ‘how to make candles’ resources online, and if you turn out to be a pro, you can save money and resources by reusing containers and using bulk eco-friendly ingredients in your own time.
Buy gently-used candles.
You might not immediately gravitate towards a gently-used candle during your thrifting trips, but this can be a great place to find super affordable candles to add to your collection.
Our tips? Read the label to ensure the ingredients are eco-friendly (remember those waxes and wicks from earlier!), and even if they’re not, now you can purchase a reusable candle jar for 50 cents and all you need to do is clean it out.
Garage sales or estate sales are also good places to look for candles. Many times, these will be candles that have been lit once or twice and someone didn’t care for the fragrance. You may also be able to find brand-new candles for sale in these places, so keep your eyes peeled!
Shop candles from local artisans.
We think all of our suggestions are pretty fantastic, but the most sustainable way to shop for your candles is to buy them from local artisans (bye, shipping fares — and hello, reduced carbon footprint!).
Explore your local farmer’s market, boutique, or makers fair to find your next favorite scent.
Looking for more eco-friendly products for your home? Check out our ultimate guide.